Ever since I was a young girl I’ve enjoyed trying on other people’s shoes. I liked walking around in them so I could understand what their experience was like as they moved through life.
When I stepped into my mom’s high heels I understood how it felt to move like a pretty person. My dad’s tennis shoes made me stride like a winner. My big brother’s boots caused me to feel tall and in control of my surroundings. The sandals that belonged to my little sister made me feel cute as I marched around. When my friend in 5th grade and I occasionally traded shoes for the day, I would feel adventurous as I stomped through the halls of my school.
I continued stepping into other people’s shoes as an adult. My husband’s shoes made me feel sturdy and competent when I borrowed them to take out the garbage. My daughter’s flats showed me what it was like to travel a peaceful path. The New Balance shoes that belonged to my son felt as if they could take me to places I might never know.
I’ve always been fascinated by other people’s footprints, too. When I encounter someone else’s tracks in the sand or the snow, I usually make a point of stepping into them – no matter how big or how small they appear to be. I walk in other people’s footsteps long enough to get a sense of their pace as they move. The way people approach their journeys helps me imagine what their life story might be.
A considerable part of my life has been spent trying on other people’s shoes and envying their stride. I often wanted to be following anyone’s path but my own. But, I have finally arrived at a new place in my life that makes me happy. This is because I’ve discovered that it’s a gift to be someone who cares so much about other people that it results in wanting to consider what it’s like being in their shoes.
I wish everyone wanted to know what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.
If you’d like to comment on this post, just follow this link to set up a WordPress user account: https://wordpress.com/start/delta-discover/user
© 2016 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Julie Ryan.